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tv   Sanjay Gupta MD  CNN  November 15, 2014 1:30pm-2:01pm PST

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treating the ebola patients they can provide expertise to other health care unites as well. >> thank you, doctor. appreciate your expertise. "cnn newsroom" continues at the top of the hour. right now, sanjay gupta m.d. is next. all you parents out there, i promise you, you won't be able to turn away from our featured story today. it's been three weeks since the latest school shooting in this country in marysville, washington. in less than a month we'll mark the somber anniversary of sandy hook. in just a few moments, we'll tell you the story of the young man whose parents called the police about him. they were worried his mental illness may drive him to hurt somebody. what happened next will make you more confident in our system or it will break your heart. you can consider him a prisoner or a patient. but first, a tiny ths town is weighing a ban that would make it the first in the country to completely outlaw tobacco sales of any kind. residents are on both sides of the issue and are fired up.
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the public hearing wednesday night was over before it began. here's john atwater from our affiliate wcab. >> this hearing is closed. >> reporter: within minutes of starting -- >> read it now! >> reporter: the board of health lost control of the enraged crowd. police stepped in to control passionate protesters and escort board members to their cars. >> you people make me sick. >> reporter: the abruptly adjourned meeting drew criticism of the proposal to ban tobacco sales at stores in town. >> this meeting with all these cameras here is a mockery of this town in front of the united states of america. >> reporter: westminster has found itself in the national spotlight. the first town in the country that is one vote away from taking an unprecedented position on tobacco. >> about 21 years in the family. >> reporter: for brian vincent who runs the store in the town, the proposed ban could sink sales. >> it's not a $10 pack, that's
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total $30 sale. >> the main focus on the allegations is the children in our community. >> reporter: the three-member board of health is trying to keep kids from the sweeter tobacco products. >> three people should not dictate a town of 7,000. >> reporter: but nearly everyone in this town feels a ban would limit their freedom. ♪ god bless america >> reporter: and they used a patriotic song to loudly claim their position. >> when you start taking people's rights away from consuming legal products, they get fired up. >> earlier cvs drugstores stopped selling tobacco in their stores as well. it was controversial, but some people say the whole thing hasn't gone far enough. some people say, what about candy? junk food? sugary drinks? it's a fair point. but unlike food, tobacco has absolutely no redeeming qualities. none. no calories, no nutrition, nothing. we do know it's associated with nearly half a million deaths per
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year in the united states. and smokers on average live ten years less. it was just 50 years ago the surgeon general made the firm connection between smoking and cancer. >> make your own 30-day camel mile test in your t-zone. >> reporter: during smoking's hay day in the 1940s and '50s, cigarettes were a common place. >> in the general survey of general practitioners, surgeons, throat specialists and diagnose most igss, the brand named northeast was camel. >>bly 1950 adults were smoking several thousand cigarettes per person per year. then the most popular magazine published a two-page article, cancer by the carton. it was the first time a mainstream publication like this
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connected smoking to cancer. and in 1955, the federal trade commission forbade companies from making positive health claims about cigarettes, blocking ads like this one from philip morris. scientifically proved, less irritating to the smoker's nose and throat. >> the federal trade commission and "reader's digest" have done you a favor. >> don draper said this on "mad men." >> we can say anything we want. we breathe insect repellant in the north carolina sunshine. grow it, cut it, cure it, toast it. >> there you go. there you go. >> but everybody else's tobacco is toasted. >> no, everybody else's tobacco is poisonous. >> lucky strikes is toasted. >> in fact, that was an actual
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lucky strikes slow michigan. in real life, but evidence of harm became overwhelming. on january 11th, 1964, dr. luther terry issued the very first surgeon general's report. >> the strongest relationship between cigarette smoking and health was in the field of lung cancer. >> reporter: a strong relationship. just how strong? he reported a 70% increase in mortality for smokers. heavy smokers, at least 20 times for likely to develop lung cancer than nonsmokers. the first warning on the pack in 1966 was a milestone, but also a major understatement. cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health. today it gets right to the point, causes lung cancer, heart disease and more. lastly, something i always like to tell people who are thinking
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about quitting, that is you don't have to wait years to see the benefits. in fact, 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your heart rate and start to drop. in 24 hours, your heart disease risk goes down. two weeks later your lung function improves and you'll feel better. after five years, your cancer risk declines. at 20 years, according to studies, yourover all risk is comparable to a non-smoker. it's a good idea to quit. get tools and tips at smokefree.gov. coming up as promised, putting an end to mass shooting. what does that mean in this country? our year-long investigation into the mind of a troubled man incarcerated for a crime police say he was plotting but he says he was not really going to commit. well, did you know genies can be really literal? no. what is your wish? no...ok...a million bucks!
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oh no... geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. e financial noise financial noise financial noise financial noise
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side effects, including dehydration, genital yeast infections in women and men, low blood sugar,kidney problems, and increased bad cholesterol. common side effects include urinary tract infections, changes in urination, and runny nose. ♪do the walk of life ♪yeah, you do the walk of life need to lower your blood sugar? ask your doctor about farxiga and visit our website to learn how you may be able to get every month free. in-depth today, the tragic confluence between mental health and our prison system. in this case authorities say they averted it. blake lambert's parents found his receipt for a gun and reported it. he didn't shoot anyone and his parents say it was a big
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misunderstanding, he was not a threat but in need of help. you may say, of course, that's the way parents should feel. but as i dug deeper, i found troubling questions when the fear of another tragedy runs smack into the complicated life of a family coping with mental illness. like other new inmates, he's locked up 23 hours a day. blake lambert is 22 years old and i met him at the correctional facility center in missouri that he now calls home. what did you do to get here? >> i bought two ar's, i didn't tell me mom, she found a receipt and called the sheriff's department and they came and found me. >> in the interrogation you were asked lots of questions. >> yes. >> at some point you said you intended to cause people harm. >> yes, and then the detective, he came out of nowhere and said
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i was in a threatening manner the movie theater. i started to agree with him because i knew he was going to charge me for something. >> reporter: police eventually did charge lambers with first-degree assault, armed criminal action. would you have hurt anybody? >> no. i would hurt myself before i hurt someone else. >> while it is impossible to know exactly what was going on inside blake lamber's mind when he bought the guns, we do know in this incident he didn't hurt anyone. no doubt, blake has had a troubled past. in 2011 he pled guilty to an assault on his coworker at a mail facility. in 2009 he was arrested at walmart carrying a butcher knife and told a psychologist he thought about killing a woman there. >> he was like, i just want to get on with my life. >> reporter: his parents say that was all in the past. and they agreed to talk about it. including the day they called the police on their own son.
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>> i've gathered up his clothes from the bathroom floor and came upstairs and was going through his pockets. then i found a receipt from walmart that he had bought a weapon for $865. i went out to the garage and called bill and said, what do we doe? >> is that the concern that he was going to hurt somebody? >> my concern was he would take the guns and kill himself. >> and you decide to call the authorities. >> the next day, thursday morning, i went to the sheriff's department with the receipt. >> according to police documents, blake's mother trisha was concerned blake might shoot people at a movie theater. she says, not true. that they had twisted her worpds and claims all she said was that blaec's gun looked like the one used by james holmes in the aurora, colorado, shooting. she said she was not worried about a mass homicide but rather a lonely suicide. so what did they say to you? >> they said, okay, mrs. lammers, thank you for coming to us. he didn't seem too concerned.
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just, okay, thank you. >> why did they put him in jail? >> they said they were doing a well-being check. so they picked him up at sonic and said we need to take you to the police station for questioning. >> and in an instant the lives of this family changed forever. within minutes of meeting blaec, you could feel and see the cause for his parents worry. he was a broken kid, a lot of smiles but lots of pain. >> trying too hard to fit in with other people. at one point, in my sophomore year of high school, for a whole semester, i ate my lunch in the bathroom because i didn't know anybody. i didn't know anybody that ate lunch at that time. >> that's kind of sad, blaec. >> that is. looking back on it, i thought, i should have tried to talk to people, but i was shy in high school. i was afraid to talk to someone because of what i would say and how it would come out. >> he played flag football, did basketball and karate.
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>> diagnosed with dyslexia as a children, blaec struggled in school but succeeded. he lettered academically, made the dean's list and was a 4.0 student. then seemingly overnight it all went downhill and fast. >> and it was the start of his junior year, his grades started to suffer, he got mixed up with some boys that were smoking pot. and things just weren't going so well. he had already quit his job at godfather's pizza. he started to cut his arms. >> within six months it went from wonderful to what is going on? we've got a serious problem. >> yeah. >> soon he was in and out of hospitals. within just a couple years, he was diagnosed with nearly a dozen different psychiatric illnesses. mood disorder, major depression,
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schizoid personality. they decided to step in and saw their son as a patient, but the same authorities saw him as a prisoner. >> my mom thinks a virginia tech's gonna happen with me or walmart or the guy at the movie theater in arizona. >> why does she think that? >> because every one of those people have a mental illness. and they didn't tell anybody they bought a gun. >> okay. so let's fast forward to your situation. what would you consider your situation. >> right now? >> yeah, i mean, you take medication. >> yeah. >> for what? >> depression. >> is that an illness? >> yes. >> okay. you have an illness similar to these people, now what else do you have in common with these people? >> homicidal thoughts. >> do you have homicidal thoughts? >> i did when i was 16.
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>> prosecutors tell us he had a real plan to kill. he just didn't get a chance to carry it out. they believe they prevented a tragedy. psychologist john phillips treated blaec at this hospital when he was 17. >> were you concerned that he was a threat? >> in the four months that he was at the hospital, he was the model resident. >> did you ever feel that he was potentially a harm to others? that was the concern, it seemed. >> i never once felt that he would ever try to hurt anyone on purpose. you know, i think that he wasn't a malicious child. he never actually ever acted out any of those threats. he never, ever, was violent in any way. >> how do you distinguish then the kid who was just talking, being a teenager, versus someone who could go out and do some serious harm? >> you have to find out what is going on, you know, in their head. and you've got to, you knower you've got to be able to assess
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whether their behavior is you are in logically based and just based on an environmental reaction or whether they are actually ps sociopath. because of his mind or threatening, they put it to the other extreme and never really gave him a chance to be rehabilitated. and where he is now, there's no chance of him being rehabilitated. >> do you think prison is the right place for him? >> absolutely not. >> blaec also saw a psychiatrist with concerns. he told us blaec's relationships were falling apart and often talked about violence. he agrees blaec does not belong
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in jail. neither of the men who treated blaec were asked to testify at the trial. would it have made a difference? we'll never know, but for the past year and a half his participants have been shouting from the rooftops that their son is mentally ill and belongs in a hospital. not a prison. >> i went to the authorities for help and for them to just keep an eye on my son, i did not go there for the intention of him to be arrested. >> do you think that blaec would ever hurt anybody with these guns? >> no. >> trish, do you think that could have ever happened? >> no. >> did blaec blame you because you went to the authorities? >> no. >> what were the conversations like with him? >> i have a letter he wrote me. i have nothing but time. we both can get through this, just don't lose hope. this is a very important time in our lives. we can do this together. so promise me that you'll stop blaming yourself for all of
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this. >> lucid, compassionate, thoughtful. >> yeah. >> the lammers are shunned by their friends and community. nowadays they barely venture out just trying to find refuge at the end of this small dirt road. >> the second thing is, don't worry about what people think about me. i don't care what they have to say. i know i'm a good person and so do you. so he is a good person. >> just one hour with a person isn't enough to really understand what's running through their mind. but as jarring as it is to say out loud, it seems entirely possible that blake lammers' only crime is having a mental illness. your life here now in this prison, is there anything about it that makes sense to you? >> it's the best place to help you, i don't think it is.
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prison is to keep you away from society because society is scared of you. >> should they be scared of you, blae zplrks. >> for what i said? yes. for the actual me-me, i didn't do anything to harm anybody out there. i was just the average 20-year-old kid living in a small town. >> and again, you're looking me right in the eyes, and i know you've been asked this question, but you wouldn't have hurt anybody. >> no, sir. >> you can say that with 100% confidence. >> and i would never hurt anybody. i would rather hurt myself than hurt other people. >> in case you're wondering, blaec's attorneys did not attempt the insanity defense. too hard to pull off. so what do you think about this? should blaec lammers with a prisoner or a patient? i want to hear from you on twitter @drsanjaygupta.
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♪ my name is lyric and my stage name is lyric the queen. >> the patch on her eye has become rap artist lyric the queen's trademark. but few people know about it. >> i'm totally blind. that's why i wear the patch. >> this is a disorder of the cornea that cause it to bulge. being blind never derailed lyric's career. >> i don't i took the time to think about how you're going to be a blind rapper. >> but darkness, both literal and -- >> i haven't seen my own face in years. >> it was emotional and
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crippling. all that may change as lyric undergoes a procedure to hope to restore her vision. ♪ i'm so lost >> it went absolutely perfect. >> this is crazy. >> i'm looking around like crazy and seeing the cries of new people and just looking at and appreciated the new details and stuff. >> the surgery was a success. and lyric's patch once a symbol of loss has become something else entirely. >> this thing i was ashamed about and depressed and devastated about, i wear it with pride and don't think i'm ready to let that go yet. see how beautiful this is? >> "the human factor" is brought to you by cancer treatment centers of america. down.
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seven months, six cnn viewers, three different sports. one race to the finish line. top coaches, devoted teammates, transforming bodies and minds. >> my goal is to do a triathlon. >> the hardest thing i have ever done. >> that seems like such a silly goal now because it's so much bigger than that. >> i took an oath early on, even if i can get through this, or through the ordeal, it will never be over. >> all right. so now it's your turn. we're looking for good people. if you think you're ready to be a part of the 2015 fit nation team, log on to cnn.com/fitnation.
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submit a video, tell us why you deserve a chance to hit the reset button with us and cross that finish line. let's go wrap things up for us today. time to get you back to the "cnn newsroom" with poppy harlow. hi, everyone. i'm poppy harlow. within the last hour, a plane carrying the last ebola patient has arrived in nebraska. dr. martin salia was carried on a stretcher before taken on to the biocontainment unit in omaha. dr. salia was flown back to the u.s. for treatment at the request of his wife after his medical team said he was critically ill. he's a surgeon, lives in maryland and is a